What is an annual?

An annual is a type of plant that completes their life cycle in one growing season.  These plants are germinated from seeds and generally flower throughout the season, setting their own seeds.  These plant will die at the end of the season, typically after the first frost.

Some annuals classified as “half-hardy”.  These species also germinate seeds and flower throughout the season, dying in one year.  These plants are started much earlier than tender annuals as the need extra time to mature. 

Northern climates will often classify tender perennials as annuals.  If these plants were grown in southern zones, they would survive many seasons.  Examples of these plants include geraniums, vinca, impatiens and coleus.  Gardeners in frost zones can winter these plants by bringing them inside before the first frost or by taking cuttings from the plant and rooting indoors.

Here is list of some popular annuals:

Ageratum – Displays a dense, compact mounded hedge of color.  Enjoys growing in full to partial sun.  Varieties of ageratum are grown in shades of blue, pink and white.

Alyssum – Compact clusters of tiny flowers.  A wonderful choice for planting near the edges of flower beds and containers.  Varieties bloom in shades of light pink, deep rose, violet, purple, white and mixed.  These plants will tolerate partial sun and like to be kept moist.

Bacopa – Vigorous small blooms showing all summer.  Grows 3″-5″ and likes medium to heavy watering.  Does well in sun to partial sun.

Begonia (Wax)– Also known as fibrous-rooted begonias.  These compact plants enjoy growing in shade.  Their foliage grows in either bronze or green.  Flowers bloom in pink, red or white.  

Begonia (Tuberous-Rooted) – A wonderful choice for baskets and container gardening.  This shade-loving plant displays brilliant colors of yellow, orange, red or white. 

Carnation (Dianthus Caryophyllus) – This strong-stemmed plant is both showy and fragrant.  They grow great in containers and beds.  Carnations grown best in partial sun.

Celosia – This species produces various unique blooms.  It is heat-tolerant in beds and containers.  Flowers are rich jewel tones. 

Coleus – Known for their brilliant foliage, coleus adds wonderful contrast to shade gardens.  Rich leaves grown in unique colors and textures.  

Cosmos – Produces large petal blooms from feathery foliage.  This variety grows well in partial sun.

Dahlia – Comes in a wonderful assortment of colors that includes red, violet, yellow, white and rose.  They are uniform in height and bloom time.  Full sun is best with light to medium watering.

Dianthus – Pink to red blooms display spring throughout the entire summer.  Grows best in full sun.  Grows 10-14″ tall and requires medium water intake.

Dracaena Spike – 

Dusty Miller – Leaves are a silver-grey color.  Known for there contrasting foliage.  The grow best in moist soil.  Blooms in white or yellow.  Like full sun.

Flowering Kale – 

Fuchsia – Single flowers with two varieties of colors, varying from pinks, whites, and purples.  High heat tolerant but enjoy shade to partial shade.  Avoid wilting with medium water intake.

Gazania –

Geranium – Wide range of colors to include red, pink, white, salmon and peach.  Medium water intake in full sun locations. 

Gerbera – Large variety of colors.  Long lasting flowers stand above large green foliage. Light to medium watering in full sun.

Gomphrena –

Helichrysun (Straw flower) –

Impatiens – Does best in moist soil.  Blooms colors range from lavender, pink, purple, red, white an yellow.  Blooms all season.  Height is 10″-30″ with an average growth rate.  This is a partial to full shade plant.

Impatiens New Guinea – This species blooms in a variety of showy colors.  Grow 8″-14″ in partial sun.  Medium watering is required.  Avoid wilting.

Lisianthus –

Lobelia – Blooms in shades of blue with small, delicate flowers.  Water with medium to heavy water.  Does well in either sun or partial shade.

Marigold – Tolerate some drought.  Will grow in dry to moist soil.  Blooms range from orange to yellow.  Non stop blooming, spring through fall.  Partial shade, partial sun to full sun. 

Nemesia – Season long flowering gem with deep purple/blue flowers. Cascading and compact.  Full sun is needed with medium watering.

Nicotiana – Plant will grow in moist soil.  Blooms in pink or white, spring through fall.  Flower are extremely fragrant and wonderful for cutting.  Grows 12″-36″ with a slow growth rate.

Nierembergia –

Osteospermum – Non-stop blooming – spring through fall.  Perform great in summer conditions.  Medium water intake.  This species is becoming extremely popular!  Flowers close softly in the evening.

Pansy – Several species of this bright, early spring flower.  Many varieties of color.  It likes cooler weather.  Compact growth of 3″-5″.  A wonderful self-seeding variety.  Grown in full sun.

Petunia – Several varieties of this non-stop blooming flower.  This plant attracts butterflies and humming birds.  Avoid wilting with medium to heavy watering.  It does enjoy growing in full sun.

Portulaca – Red to orange/yellow blooms throughout spring and summer.  Compact, growing 3″-6″.  Full sun and heavy watering is required.

Primula –

Rudbeckia – Full sun is best.  Blooms in yellow summer through fall.  Can tolerate dry soil.  3′-4′.

Salvia – Red and purple blooms throughout spring and summer.  Full sun with medium ant heavy watering. 

Snapdragon – Blooms in blue, orange, pink, purple, red, white and yellow spring through fall.  It will grow in dry to moist soil.  Fragrant blooms are suitable for both fresh cut and drying.  A taller annual that grows 6″-36″. 

Sunflower –

Torenia – Likes moist soil.  Blooming in blues, pinks, purples and yellow.  A wonderful blooming plant all season with showy foliage.  Place in sun to partial sun.

Verbena – A variety of colors ranging from reds, pinks, purples and white.  Full sun is best with medium water intake.  Grows 6″ – 12″ tall.

Vinca –

Viola – Related to the pansy, this variety grows well in moist soil.  Blooms in purple, blue and yellow.  Grow in partial shade to full sun.  Fragrant flower are suitable for cutting.

Zinnia –